How to Access Windows Security Updates

Although you have your computer protected with an antivirus program and a firewall and you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself on the Internet, hackers can still access your PC through vulnerabilities in your Windows operating system. These are security holes that are usually discovered after a hacker has exploited them.

If the vulnerability is discovered by Microsoft before a hacker exploits it, there is a period of time that passes before they can create a patch to repair the vulnerability. This is why Microsoft provides security updates for the Windows operating system on a monthly basis. Additionally, they provide updates to add extra features to the operating system after it has been released on the market and to repair any problems that have been discovered since the release.

Providing security updates does not necessarily mean the operating system is untrustworthy. It simply means that hackers relentlessly seek new ways to perform criminal acts and their efforts create additional problems in the Windows operating system which Microsoft must repair to enhance the security of the system. This is why it is important to stay current on the latest updates and patches to protect your PC against malicious attacks.

How to Access Windows Security Updates

Microsoft originally set up an updates website to enable Windows 98 users to install patches and program upgrades to the operating system by downloading the updates from the website. Since Windows 98, Microsoft has integrated automatic security updates into its Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, in addition to providing the updates on their website. All you have to do is activate the automatic Windows security updates in your operating system.

Configuring Automatic Security Updates in Windows XP: To configure automatic security updates in Windows XP, click on the Start button on the main toolbar displayed on your PC's desktop. Select "Control Panel" from the pop-up menu and then choose "Security Center." Click on Automatic Updates and then choose "Automatic" which is recommended by Microsoft.

Configuring Automatic Security in Windows Vista: To configure automatic security updates in Windows Vista, click on the Start button on the main toolbar displayed on your PC's desktop. Go to "All Programs" and then select "Windows Update." Click on "Change Settings" and then choose "Install Updates Automatically" which is the recommended option. Under "Recommended Updates" click on the box next to "Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates." Simply click OK when you are finished and then enter your password if you are prompted to do so.

In addition to configuring your operating system to check for updates on a routine basis, you should also configure the firewall settings that are included with the Windows operating system. Additionally, you should have a solid antivirus program from a reputable vendor installed that will periodically scan your PC for malicious activity and install the latest antivirus updates to your PC.

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You can protect your computer from viruses without expensive software. Instead, follow these simple tips:

Stay up-to-date on all system updates.

Don't download any email attachments you weren't expecting.

Avoid freeware and peer-to-peer sharing sites.

Use alternative web browsers and email software.